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Surname Tobin - Meaning and Origin

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Surprising Revelations of Transcontinental Ancestry: An iGENEA DNA Journey With The Surname Tobin

Embarking on an exploration into my ancestry via an iGENEA DNA test, I was prepared for surprises. Yet, I was unprepared for the magnitude of the unexpected twists that unfolded. As I delved into my surname, Tobin, I braced myself for mild discrepancies, but the revelation of Ashkenazi Jewish ties and transcontinental migrations surpassed all expectations.

H. Tobin

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Tobin: What does the surname Tobin mean?

The surname Tobin is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name "Ó Tuamaín", meaning "descendant of Tuamán". The name Tuamán itself is thought to mean "mound" or "tumulus", a reference to ancient burial sites. The Tobin clan was originally centered in County Tipperary and southern Ireland, but over time spread throughout the country and subsequently worldwide due to emigration, particularly during the Irish Potato Famine in the 19th century. Today, although it remains a common name in Ireland, the name Tobin can be found within communities of the Irish diaspora all around the globe. As with many surnames, variations such as "O'Tobin" and "Tubman" exist. Tobin remains a proud and historically rich family name, with connections to a variety of notable figures in history, sports, politics, and the arts.

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Tobin: Where does the name Tobin come from?

The surname Tobin is most commonly found in the United States and Ireland. In America, Tobin is the 4,053rd most common last name, making up 0.001% of the population. It is particularly popular in the states of Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.

In Ireland, Tobin is the 25th most common surname. It's originally an English and Irish name, with the most common spelling being 'O'Tobin'.

Tobin is derived from the Gaelic 'O'TUATHBHAN' which translates to mean ‘Descendant of Tuathbhain', with 'Tuathbhain' being the personal name of an ancient Irish ancestor.

The oldest recorded use of the Tobin surname is found in the Annals of Four Masters in 1398, with the first recorded bearer being Maelsechlainn Cillen Tuathbhan.

The Tobin surname is popular with people of both Irish and American heritage, making it one of the oldest and most widely distributed Irish surnames. It has also spread to other English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as areas of Europe such as England and Germany.

Variations of the surname Tobin

The surname Tobin is of Irish and English origin and is most commonly linked to the Anglicized version of the Gaelic name O’Tóibín or Ó Tóibín from the Irish surname Ó Tóbáin. Out of these, there are several spelling variants, including Tóibín, Toveeny, Tovany, or Tovney.

In Ireland, the name Tobin is most popular in the counties of Limerick, Clare and Dublin, with common regional variants such as Toban, Tobanne and Tobinne, which are mainly found in Limerick. English families of the same name mainly derive from Devon, Shropshire, and Somerset.

In addition to these spellings, there are also a few variations of Tobin used in Ireland which, while related, sprang out of different sources. These include Tobian, Tobinne, Tobannee, Tobanni, Tobinny, O'tovanney, O'tobine, Tobinick, and Tobally, all of which are considered related to the Tobin surname.

There are also several other surnames that have similar origins to the Tobin surname. These include Ó Maolmhordha, which is an Irish surname derived from a Gaelic word meaning “chief”, as well as Ó Dochartaigh, meaning “descendant of Dochartach”, a Gaelic personal name formed from elements meaning “obstructor” or “thorn”. Other related surnames include Ó Doibhilín, meaning “descendant of Doibhilin”, and Ó Faolain, meaning “descendant of Faolain”.

Famous people with the name Tobin

  • Jack Tobin, American baseball outfielder
  • Kieron Tobin, British ancestor rights activist
  • Gary Tobin, American nonprofit leader
  • Benny Tobin, Australian Aboriginal rights activist
  • John Pepper Tobin, American stage actor
  • Theodore Tobin, American educator
  • Will Tobin, American lawyer
  • Kate Tobin, Irish race car driver
  • Neil Tobin, American brujo
  • Jacob Tobin, American actor/musician

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